With a few hours and some spare cash, business owners can now create professional, user-friendly websites without writing a single line of code. WordPress alone offers more than 32,000 plugin options, which provides businesses with access to the latest, trendiest functionalities for their websites — no expensive developers required.
Most plugins are free (or very inexpensive) and have simple designs, which enable small businesses with little tech expertise to get all the bells and whistles they want. The toughest part is determining which plugins to install on your site. Who has time to vet all the plugins out there to weed out the duds?
Take a look at the 12 most underrated plugins for business websites to find ones that suit your company’s needs.
This WordPress plugin lets you embed a contact form within your website so visitors can send you feedback and messages. As the name says, this plugin is straightforward and easy to install. It’s minimalist yet fully customizable.
Every website owner’s worst nightmare is losing his or her entire site to hackers or a failed software update. Starting at $80 per year for two sites, BackupBuddy offers automatic, partial, or full backups of your WordPress site to give you peace of mind that you can quickly restore your website if it’s compromised in any way.
Broken links in your website are not only annoying, but they also make you look like an amateur. Broken Link Checker will find broken links in your site and send you a report either on your WordPress dashboard or through email so you can make quick and easy fixes.
This WordPress plugin identifies URLs on your site that return a 404 error. This happens when visitors try to access a page on your site that you’ve either deleted or changed the URL for. Most of the time, these visitors will give up and leave your site, but with 404 Redirected, you can easily forward those pages to a live working page on your site.
With the free or pro version of neosmart STREAM, you can embed your Facebook, Twitter, and other social media streams in your website. This WordPress plugin comes with default themes and can be customized to blend with your site design. Other web platforms can use it via PHP or iFrame.
Few website owners know that they should optimize images for search engines. The SEO Friendly Images plugin for WordPress lets you set “ALT” and “TITLE” attributes for images on your website so search engines and your site’s visitors can find your content.
7. PDF & Print
Sometimes, you need to enable website viewers to save your page as a PDF or print it for later use. The PDF & Print WordPress plugin displays a small PDF and print icon on your site so visitors know they don’t have to copy and paste or take multiple screenshots of your content.
More and more Internet users are browsing websites using their smartphones and other mobile devices, which makes it difficult to navigate a website without a mobile-responsive design. Tiny Scrollbar is a cross-platform plugin that creates both vertical and horizontal scrolling options for your visitors. It keeps text and images in smaller windows for easy viewing on mobile devices.
Blog commenters are slowly fading, so you want to thank those who take the time and effort to comment on your blog. This WordPress plugin lets you set up automated email messages and send them to blog commenters immediately or at a specific time.
Perfect for content-heavy sites, Disqus replaces your WordPress blog’s comment system and lets viewers respond to one another’s comments to promote direct engagement. It also improves functionality through social sharing and moderator controls.
Image-oriented websites will find this WordPress plugin useful. It offers a simple way to add scrolling slideshows of images. It’s great for content sites as well as for displaying product images on e-commerce sites.
A table is often the best way to show multiple pricing options, but creating beautiful tables in WordPress often requires coding beyond a non-techie’s skill set. Easy Pricing Tables provides customizable templates to display your pricing plans, such as highlighting a popular or best value plan.
Plugins can customize your website and transform it into a professional and easy-to-use resource. Just keep these tips in mind to avoid glitches and find the best ones for your site.
- Test the plugin first
Install the plugin in a staging or development environment to make sure it won’t break any code or interfere with existing plugins on your site.
- Contact the plugin company
Speak to the developer or a customer service rep from the plugin company before installing it. Let the person know how your site is designed. The employee may recommend additional code to ensure its functionality and avoid conflicts between the plugin and your site. Also, subscribe to update emails from the developer to stay informed of any bug fixes or enhancements.
- Check the competition
For each function you want, you’re likely to find several plugins that can do the same job. Compare similar plugins from different developers. This will help you spot inaccuracies and verify you’re choosing the best plugin for your site.
- Have a header or footer throughout your site
Insert a header or footer in one file running across every page on your site. This lets you add a plugin in one location and make it instantly appear on your entire site.
- Keep tabs on your plugins
Routinely test plugins by going through typical browsing behaviors on your site, such as signing up for a newsletter or purchasing a product. This way, you can make sure nothing is broken in your funnel.
Sometimes, plugins can interact with one another and affect certain settings on your website. By putting these precautions in place, you can confidently explore new tools and reap all the benefits they have to offer.
What other plugins have you used to take your business’ website to the next level?
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